For The Experts At Wienerschnitzel, The Real Stars Of The Postseason Are The Ballpark Hot Dogs
World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain Draws Inspiration From Localized Ballpark Hot Dog Trend
October 22, 2018 // Franchising.com // IRVINE, Calif. - For the hot dog experts at Wienerschnitzel, the real stars of baseball aren’t on the field but sold in the concession stands at the 30 MLB parks across the country.
As they do every year about this time, the employees and franchisees from the World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain recently gathered to taste and compare notes on this year’s MLB ballpark hot dogs, especially those representing the teams competing in the 2018 postseason. Wienerschnitzel sells more than 120 million hot dogs annually at 340 locally owned restaurants in 11 states.
“The link between hot dogs and baseball is strong, nostalgic and a big part of the ballpark experience, especially during the postseason,” said Wienerschnitzel chief marketing officer Doug Koegeboehn. “But for those of us at Wienerschnitzel, baseball also serves as the ultimate ‘proving ground’ for what could be the next great national hot dog trend.”
The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that baseball fans will eat close to 20 million hot dogs during the 2018 MLB season.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that at least a few of our most popular hot dog varieties have either been inspired, or later confirmed, by their popularity at a MLB park.” He cited the trend toward localized ballpark dogs - with toppings ranging from mustard, relish and sauerkraut to guacamole, jalapenos, nacho cheese, pulled pork and macaroni and cheese - as one of the inspirations for creation of Wienerschnitzel’s Chicago, Bacon Street and Junkyard Dogs.
“While the hot dog designers at Wienerschnitzel consider many factors when adding a new dog to our menu, especially the discriminating tastes of our Wienerschnitzel regulars, baseball fan preferences are definitely near the top of the list."
Wienerschnitzel was one of the first national hot dog retailers to smother its dogs with chili and cheese in 1961 - a practice common at MLB ballparks today.
As for the ballpark hot dogs of the teams playing in the Fall Classic, the Fenway Frank and Dodger Dog, Koegeboehn attributes their long-term popularity to hot dog (and baseball) purists.
Thought to have debuted immediately following the opening of Fenway Park in 1912, the Fenway Frank is boiled and grilled, served in a New England-style, split-top roll and traditionally topped with mustard and sauerkraut.
It’s newer cousin, the Dodger Dog, is a 10-inch wiener dating back to the opening of Dodger Stadium in 1962, a year after the first Wienerschnitzel restaurant opened in a Los Angeles suburb. Stadium vendors serve it steamed or grilled, and purists in Southern California top it with simply mustard and relish. The 2.5 million hot dogs sold at Dodger Stadium this year are the most of any MLB park according to the NHDSC.
Other ballpark hot dogs sold during the postseason are more elaborate. Similar to Wienerschnitzel’s popular Chili Cheese Dog, the Cincinnati Cheese Coney Dog at the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park is topped with chili, cheddar cheese and onion, while the Wisconsin Dog at Miller Park features bacon and beer jam sauerkraut on a sausage roll.
Wienerschnitzel customers can choose between 11 hot dog varieties and three hot dog options: World Famous Original, Big Angus Beef or Polish Sausage. A number of limited-time and seasonal offers are available throughout the year.
Founded by John Galardi in 1961 with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, Calif., Wienerschnitzel (www.wienerschnitzel.com) is one of the real pioneers of the quick-service food industry. The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain now serves more than 120 million hot dogs annually - and fueled by a mission of “Serving Food to Serve Others,” also gives back a percentage of profits to its charitable partners. Based in Irvine, Calif., Wienerschnitzel operates or franchises 340 restaurants in 11 states. It is part of the Galardi Group, which is also the parent company of Hamburger Stand and Tastee-Freez LLC.
Bob Ochsner or Lindsay Winn
Amusement Park PR
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